Are Requests For Adjournment “Foot Dragging Tactics”?

Attorney Anthony Astaphan

Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
December 03, 2009 (CUOPM)

A High Court Judge, who had already granted two adjournments to two opposition parliamentarians, in the Constituency Boundaries Commission case on Wednesday, asked Ms Constance Mitcham, one of the lawyers, if their actions were not “foot dragging tactics” when a request for a third adjournment was made.

His Lordship Mr. Justice Frances Belle had earlier granted requests on behalf  of the claimants, Hon. Mark Brantley and the Hon. Shawn Richards, for adjournments from 10:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. and from 12:10 to 3:00 pm, when a third request was made for a 20 minute adjournment by Ms. Mitcham.

When Court resumed shortly after 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Lead Counsel, Ms. Mia Mottley sought leave to amend the Application and to file new affidavits, which was granted to allow the amanded Application to be submitted at 12:10 pm. On resumption, another request was made for an adjournment, which was granted with the understanding that they should be ready to proceed at 3:00 p.m.

Yet, when the Judge took the Bench and resumed the sitting at 3:22 p.m. Ms. Constance Mitcham informed the Court that she was still not ready to proceed with the matter, as Senior Counsel Ms. Mottley had to take over the re drafting of the amended application from local solicitor Mr. Mac Clure Taylor.

“The amended Application was in Court, but after looking at it, Ms. Mottley decided to redraft it herself. We are requesting a 20 minute adjournment,” said Ms. Mitcham, prompting Justice Belle, who asked the lawyers if they were employing “foot dragging tactics.”

In a requested reaction, Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan indicated to Justice Belle that he felt like “Otis Redding, Sitting on the dock of the bay watching time float by.”

“I am struggling for words, your honour. We will wait until the Application comes,” said Astaphan to Justice Belle, who granted the adjournment.

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